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6 Brain Boosting Herbs To Improve Your Productivity

6 Brain Boosting Herbs To Improve Your Productivity

    Does your brain feel tired sometimes?

    Do you sometimes feel that your brain’s capacity is not up your daily demands?

    Do you sometimes become forgetful because your brain is overtaxed?

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    Is your memory sometimes weak?

    Can focusing be difficult for you some of the time?

    If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are like the rest of us, struggling to be productive in an extremely fast paced and complex world.

    The good news is that there are ways to protect your brain from excessive demands so that you can function at your best.

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    How To Help An Overtaxed Brain

    Lifestyle choices make a big difference in your mental resilience. Poor food and unhealthy daily practices are an unnecessary burden to your body including your brain – like trying to jog with 50 pound weights.

    However, we all know that our circumstances are less than ideal and that we cannot always make ideal choices

    Medicinal herbs can overcome excessive amounts of stress and lifestyle challenges to help you function at your best. Here is a list of herbs for the brain that will help you get rid of those 50 pound weights.

    6 Top Brain Herbs

    1. Brahmi is the top herb for rejuvenating the brain and nervous system. It helps the left and right sides of the brain to work together. Brahmi improves all aspects of mental functioning including the ability to learn new information, to retain what we learn and our ability to remember.Brahmi packs a double whammy of benefits because it supports our intelligence while reducing the effects of stress on the brain. It offers 4 primary benefits:
      • improved capacity for attention and focus,
      • improved ability to withstand emotional stress
      • reduction in nervousness and anxiety
      • improved immune system function.

      Brahmi also helps with insomnia, helps prevent senility, and heals adrenal grands debilitated by stress which can lead to adrenal burnout. Although brahmi is sometimes called gotu kola in english, gotu kola is actually a different herb.

    2. Gotu kola is another herb that has high impact on brain functioning.  Known as mandukaparni in sanskrit, it also balances the brain and helps all aspects of brain functioning, but is best known for its ability to improve blood circulation and memory.
    3. Ashwaghandha is another top herb for the brain. It reduces the effects of overwork and is one of the best for promoting mental clarity and cognitive functioning. It boosts the brain’s memory and is very helpful in supporting the immune system.Ashwaghandha does wonders for nervous exhaustion and protects the brain against brain cell deterioration.  It is an important protective herb.
    4. Vacha which means “speech” is an important herb for the brain.  It promotes better concentration, clarity and speech. It has a stimulating effect which means that it treats depression and mental sluggishness. Vacha promotes mental clarity and a strong memory at the same time it detoxifies brain tissues.
    5. Tagara known as Indian valerian helps emotional and nervous conditions.
    6. Tulsi oxygenates the brain and improves circulation which improves feelings of well-being and mental cognition.

    Essential Oils For The Brain

    Essential oils are an excellent way to treat mental fatigue and to boost your mental capacity. Here are three that can be a useful supplement to herbal remedies for times when you need to stimulate your brain.

    1. Rosemary is a bright and sharp essence that improves clarity in the mind and emotions.
    2. Peppermint is stimulating It enlivens the mind and  is one of the best oils to boost energy, creativity and learning.
    3. Basil improves mental fatigue and focus.

    Improving Your Brain’s Performance

    Nourishment is essential to your brain’s functioning. The circulation of your brain and amount of oxygen in the brain are also critical for its functioning.

    It is important to realize that your body is an ecological system and naturally, your brain is part of that ecology. So when you think about your lifestyle choices, you can then keep in mind that food in your stomach will affect all parts of you including your brain and mental functioning.

    When you understand that your brain is part of your human ecology, then you will naturally consider its needs.

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    Basic health practices of good food, exercise and rest are necessary for good brain health.  Relaxation techniques like meditation help as well.  However, in our mentally intense modern world it helps to support your brain with herbs and essences that minimize the wear and tear of overwork and stress.

    Many of the herbs listed above are available individually or in combination with others so that you can select herbs that target a specific issue or use a herbal preparation that supports general mental well-being.  I find that both approaches work.

    Taking care of your brain has so many benefits. A healthy brain makes good decisions and therefore supports your life. When not functioning well, your brain can create problems for you.

    Essentially taking care of your brain makes your life easier. These herbs can help you get there.

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    (Please note: The information in this article is general information and not a substitute for medical care. As always, consult your own physician should you have any concerns.)

    (Photo credit: Brain via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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